FedEx Cup system somehow works

Jordan Spieth takes over top of Tour Championship leaderboard with a birdie on 18 Saturday. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Jordan Spieth takes over top of Tour Championship leaderboard with a birdie on 18 Saturday. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

The FedEx Cup playoff system is a contrivance, basically an ever-evolving  gimmick to lend golf a finishing kick against the steamroller that is football.

Once you realize this, it makes life much easier.

You don’t get really worked up about the inequities of the points system, like some in the serious golf community do. Those issues bobbed around once more when Henrik Stenson shot to the top of the Tour Championship leaderboard and Jason Day sank. It raised the nuclear scenario of Stenson perhaps finishing second in this tournament (his standing after the third round) and still winning the $10 million FedEx Cup despite not winning a single tournament this year.

It’s complicated. And it seems weird that your champion could get there by some quirky marriage of consistency and math rather than by, you know, winning something. Resetting the points for this final event, placing so much weight upon it at the expense of the tournaments before it, does make such a thing possible.

Personally and selfishly, I’ll take the Tour Championship reset and the greater number of players it brings into the mix every time. The other possible scenario – someone coming to East Lake with the title all but locked up – is just too horrifying to contemplate. I want third-round leader Jordan Spieth to have to finish out strong in the final round if he is to earn the huge bonus.

And you know what? It just usually works out. All hypotheticals aside, the winner at the end of this thing most often has some kind of legitimate claim to the waterfall of money. I don’t remember this being a raging issue in the past. There’s some kind of explanation at the end that suits the public.

Shouldn’t the system prove itself broken before it goes in for any more repairs? I’d say it’s performing exactly as designed – to make this last week in Atlanta a tick more interesting.

So, say Stenson wins the tournament Sunday and picks up a little extra jack after his first victory. Or Spieth wins his fifth event of the year and all is right and just with the FedEx winner. OK either way.

And if something does go weird at the end, it’s just one of the quirks of an admittedly quirky playoff. And who on the field of play is in position to complain, because for every last lucky soul in this tournament, it’s all found money.

Reader Comments 0

5 comments
thialand
thialand

"The other possible scenario – someone coming to East Lake with the title all but locked up – is just too horrifying to contemplate." It already happened: in 2008, all VJ Singh had to do was show-up on the first tee for his Thurs. start time, hit one shot and he'd with the FedX Cup even if he withdrew.  



Infraredguy
Infraredguy

This Tournament is a waste of time and money to go to unless all you want to see is 30 players ( 29 this week ) hitting good shots. I went to the Practice round Wednesday and only saw 6 players on the course and they only played the back 9, what a waste of time and 25 bucks. Never go back, a very poor spectator event

thialand
thialand

@Infraredguy  But you'll spend twice that to attend a college or NFL game, for at least three hours, sit in the same seat the entire time all to watch on average, 11.5 mins of the ball in play.  Maybe a Braves game?  9.5 mins of the ball in play.  

HotDawg
HotDawg

I don't think many people pay attention once the last Major ends and football season starts.

Also, the average Joe doesn't care about multi, multi, multi-millionaires fighting it out for a ten million dollar purse, when such purse is meaningless to the multi-millionaire players life. Who was the arrogant Tour player that said this week, the purse money wouldn't affect his life at this point in his life? Day? Rory? I don't remember, but someone on Tour was actually admitting such.

If they don't care, why should we?

The Tour promotes this garbage as the reason to watch. Who's gonna win the 10 million dollars? Yet it is really meaningless to these guys. Sad, but true.

They've got their sponsors and millions pouring into their bank accounts. Winning millions more on Tour, as long as they make the cut.

Besides keeping the regular flow of dollars pouring in, during the year, all the pros care about (and the fans) are the Majors.

The Majors bring them the glory and the almost infinite flow of income.

Golf doesn't need these fake, made up tournaments, such as FedEx cup championship.

HotDawg
HotDawg

People remember Major's Champions.

They don't remember or care about FedEx Cup champions.

Whether you like it or not, that's the fact, Jack!